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May 2018: The Somerset Levels

The Somerset Levels are one of Britainís less well-known jewels. Delineated by the Mendips to the north, Bridgwater Bay to the west, and the Quantocks ...More
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John Barry

Knighthoods may go to rather worthy conductors and composers of cats-and-cutlery music, but by 2100 they will be long forgotten; John Barry will not. Barry, who died on January 30, was the Mozart of the Movies: he produced an endless stream of brilliant melodies; was hugely prolific; and shifted easily between genres Ė in his case cinematic: historical epic (Zulu, The Lion in Winter); thriller (The Ipcress File); geography-as-star (Out of Africa, Walkabout); even zany comedy (Howard the Duck). Inextricably associated with the James Bond series, his music perhaps the only reason for enduring the Roger Moore versions, the lush string and brass sound he developed for it defined Bond style. But Barry was never one-dimensional, exploring instrumentation from the mouth organ of The Chase to the synthesiser of The Persuaders; a jazz musician who wrote pop songs and musicals. A five-time Oscar-winning musical hero.

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To all, to each, a fair good-night, and pleasing dreams, and slumbers light. - Walter Scott
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On this day:
Battle of St Albans - Wars of the Roses starts - 1455, James Iís Bargain Baronets - 1611, Littleportís Bread or Blood Riot Begins - 1816, Britains worst Rail Disaster - 1915, Burgess and Maclean Defect - 1951, Abbeystead Disaster - 1984, Murder of Lee Rigby - 2013
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